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 Post subject: External Hard Drive
PostPosted: Sat Jan 18, 2003 7:50 am 
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Joined: Fri Jan 17, 2003 7:19 am
Posts: 22
Location: Burnaby, BC, Canada
Hi,

I am considering buying an external usb 2 or firewire hard drive (so I can move large amounts of data between computers) and was wondering if anyone has any feel of the noise of external usb hard drives:

maxtor
http://www.maxtor.com/en/products/exter ... /index.htm

or

the western digital
http://www.westerndigital.com/products/usb120gb.asp

or buying a regular internal hard drive like the quit seagate
and trying to put it in some sort of universal external usb case (seem to be sold for about $100). One universal usb external enclosure available at many stores has a product number of me-320us.

I would assume the noise would come with from the drive as well as any case fan. Any comments?

Also does anyone have any experience mounting drives in those universal external usb drive enclosures?

I assume that one may be better to buy a drive already mounted in a case (instead of the universal external cas) such as the maxtor or wd to ensure it talks to the usb port properly. Comments?

Thanks
Brian


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jan 19, 2003 7:34 am 
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Joined: Sat Nov 23, 2002 6:33 am
Posts: 8636
Location: Sunny SoCal
Get yourself an external Firewire case and a Barracuda IV.

The noise issue comes from those darn 40mm cooling fans they put in these cases. They sound like pissed-off hornets! No BS. I have an external firewire case from GraniteDigital.com and it has two of these noisey little fans. These are the noisiest things in my entire system. I only use this as a backup drive so I leave it off unless I'm transferring files to it.

I've had good luck in the past replacing stock, noisey 40mm fans with Sunon 40mm fans running at 7 volts. These do a fine job of cooling at 7 volts but I haven't tried them in my Firewire case yet because I can't find a way to monitor the HDD temp when it's being used in a Firewire configuration. None of the regualr HDD temp monitoring programs (MBM5, Dtemp, HDDtemp etc) can see the HDD sensors in a Firewire configuration. Until I can figure out how to monitor my drive temps I am not going to experiment with lower-voltage fans in this case.

Another option would be to move the drive further away from your work area by using long cables. With both USB and Firewire you can use "repeaters" that let you connect cables end-to-end so you can extend them. Maximum spec length for USB and Firewire is 15' but you can chain them together to up to 256' by using these "hubs" or "repeaters". I'm going to go buy a couple of 15' Firewire cables and a repeater tomorrow to do this myself.


BTW - Go with Firewire, not USB 2.0 for your external drive if you want the best performance. On paper USB 2.0 has a faster transfer speed than Firewire but in the real world Firewire is faster. Something about the interface of Firewire makes it more efficient. Do some Google-ing or some searching at Anandtech about this issue.

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 Post subject: quiet firewire external drive
PostPosted: Sun Jan 19, 2003 8:35 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jan 09, 2003 5:04 pm
Posts: 2
Location: Sebastopol, CA
I've been researching external enclosures and found the IceCube, which according the review below, works with both PCs and Macs and does not contain a fan.

http://www.macdrives.com/100gb.html

Here's a link to what appears to be the manufacturers website, but contains very little information:

http://storewell-systems.no/product.asp ... rod_id=523

If anyone finds any others, please post.


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 Post subject: Re: quiet firewire external drive
PostPosted: Mon Jan 20, 2003 5:33 am 
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Joined: Sat Nov 23, 2002 6:33 am
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Location: Sunny SoCal
eshank wrote:
I've been researching external enclosures and found the IceCube, which according the review below, works with both PCs and Macs and does not contain a fan.

http://www.macdrives.com/100gb.html

Here's a link to what appears to be the manufacturers website, but contains very little information:

http://storewell-systems.no/product.asp ... rod_id=523

If anyone finds any others, please post.


I was looking at this one too but I really think you should have some sort of active cooling inside one of these external cases. I think this is especially important if you're going to run a Barracuda drive. They tend to run a little hot (40C+) in stagnant air but cool down nicely with just a little airflow. I speak from more than a little experience here. I own five or six Barracuda IVs myself and I use them in all the PCs I build for my customers. I always monitor the temps on my drives just to be safe.

Maxtor and WD 7200rpm drives also run quite toasty in stagnant air. The coolest running 7200rpm drives that I've ever used are IBMs. The 60GXP and 120GXP series runs pretty cool even with no active cooling.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jan 20, 2003 7:44 am 
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Joined: Thu Aug 29, 2002 8:47 am
Posts: 50
Location: London, UK
I use a USB2 case by a company called Megadata and have put my HD in it. It looks like it's not sold anymore but there are loads fo similar products on the market.

http://megadataonline.co.uk/products/product.asp?id=112

Works great for my needs (backup so only on occasionally on). Unlike Ralf says, it doesn't sound like a pissed off hornet, more like a Boeing 747 :lol:

Tried stopping the fan and relying on the metal case to cool it down but I agree with Ralf, it got too hot for comfort....


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 Post subject: External Hard Drive Case ME-320: Short internal IDE CABLE
PostPosted: Sun Jan 26, 2003 7:03 am 
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Joined: Fri Jan 17, 2003 7:19 am
Posts: 22
Location: Burnaby, BC, Canada
Hi,

I bought an external hard drive case with usb port model ME-320 (generic brand) and was a bit disapointed in the length of the internal ide cable.

The case supports mounting a 3.5 ide hard drive or a 5.25 cd drive.
Unfotunately, if you mount a 3.5 ide hard drive into the pre drilled holes the supplied internal case ide bus cable is not long enough to reach the back of the drive. It would likely work for a cd (which is over an inch in the case) but the hard drive is a no go.

The manufacturer appears to have tried saving 10 cents by making the cable 1 inch too short. Grrr.

I suspect all this model are this way (useless), but perhaps mine was made during a Monday morning factory run and the others are ok.

Anyway, I guess I will go buy a new cable but it is frustrating that the supplied cable in the case does not work out of the box. I am sure a desktop ide cable will work, but this is a hassle and a long destop cable will impede air flow in the case.

It would be great to know if another brand of external drive enclosure works out of the box without a hassle.

Anyone had similiar experience with this external enclosure or other brands?

Also, has anyone found any of the other external enclosures have any sort of rubber or gel mounting system to protect the drive from damage / vibration when you move the it from machine to machine? This one has no such innovation. :(


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jan 27, 2003 6:05 am 
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Joined: Sat Nov 23, 2002 6:33 am
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Location: Sunny SoCal
A lot of people seem to like that ME-320 enclosure. Maybe because you can get them for $55 from CompGeeks. They seem kind of cheap to me. I was looking at them at Fry's.

Are you sure you're trying to mount the drive in the correct set of holes? Maybe you can move it back a bit? I haven't heard anybody complain about this situation on any of the sites I visit. I think there's a lot of these being sold, just by CompGeeks alone, because they're always back-ordering them. Maybe you got the one that they built using the end of the roll of IDE ribbon cable and there wasn't quite enough left. :D

See my post above. I'm using the GraniteDigital 3.5" drive Firewire enclosure. As I stated above, if you want the best, fastest performance go with Firewire over USB 2.0.

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 Post subject: me-320 enclousre confirmed not to take hd
PostPosted: Sun Feb 02, 2003 8:59 am 
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Joined: Fri Jan 17, 2003 7:19 am
Posts: 22
Location: Burnaby, BC, Canada
Update to my earlier post:
I took the me-320 enclosure back to the store and they confirmed that the "me-320" can not take a 3.5 inch hard drive using the stock internal ide cable that is too short to reach the drive despite the fact the box says a hard drive can be installed. They said that if I installed a longer internal cable I would void the warranty on the enclosure. The store said their customers had been using the case as a cd enclosure, not hd enclosure. The larger cd player lines up perfectly with the internal ide cable, but the smaller hard drive had pre drilled mounting holes in the enclosure case that were offset preventing the cable from reaching the drive by an inch or two. Amazing that the thing is being sold - So much for this no name product.

My Advice is to avoid the ME 320 external enclsure for use as an ide external hard drive case as it will not work, likely fine for a cd or dvd case.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Feb 02, 2003 10:45 am 
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Joined: Mon Jan 06, 2003 4:14 pm
Posts: 517
Location: Toronto, Canada
The ADS USBX 804 works great.

It doesn't hit full USB 2.0 speeds (it does maybe half that), but I don't think any of them do. Especially avoid the ones that don't even bother putting an 80 wire cable inside.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Feb 02, 2003 11:13 am 
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Joined: Sun Aug 11, 2002 3:26 pm
Posts: 319
Location: Philadelphia, PA, USA
I certainly don't mean to encourage anyone to get a ME-320, but if you are stuck with one, would it be possible to use 3 1/2 -> 5 1/4 hard drive mounting brackets to mount a HD? Most on the ones I've seen let you adjust whether the hard drive is towards the front or rear of the brackets, so you might be able to get close enough to the IDE connector to make it work.

I do hope that the ME-320 at least uses an 80 pin cable.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Feb 04, 2003 11:23 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jan 26, 2003 1:46 am
Posts: 241
With a little bit of strength and clamping on cable, you can do it in ME-320. (I have 2 of them... one with firewire and the other with firewire/usb2.0 combo)
Also, you can plug typical 8cm IDE cable in it as well instead of (should have plenty... I know I have like 12-13 IDE cables laying around in home)

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Feb 08, 2003 1:37 pm 
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Joined: Fri Nov 08, 2002 4:05 pm
Posts: 133
the firewire 800 spec will allow some ridiculous length of wire, so putting a few 2x40 deltas in it, and putting it in the other room is an option. also network attached storage could work


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